Artists – Tips For Your New Blog
If you’re an artist and want to connect with people online, you know that it’s time to start up a blog. However, as with any creative enterprise, there are some important things you should consider before you begin.
Gallery Site or Tutorial Site?
Choosing a goal for a website is important, and this especially applies to artists. Most internet marketers build sites to make money, but artists may have many other reasons for wanting to communicate with the outside world besides making simply selling their artwork. For instance, you probably want as many people as possible to see your artwork, whether they buy it or not.
Getting traffic is important, but even more important is what those folks will see when they reach your new blog. This was something that I thought about a lot before starting my own blog about my paper mache sculptures.
I knew that a gallery site that showcased photos of my paper mache sculptures would get some visitors who were interested in the subject, but a lot more people were likely to come to a tutorial site. However, that’s not the primary reason I decided to give how-to instructions. It was simply a personal decision. I created my blog primarily to have an excuse to mess around with paper mache, and selling the resulting sculptures was not my main concern. The tutorial site also gives me name recognition online, which could make a future sales site more successful.
You get more visitors with how-to articles because most people go online to learn how to do stuff. If you can add some how-to articles to your gallery site you’ll probably receive more visitors who will then have an opportunity to look at your artwork on your gallery pages. That doesn’t mean you have to add tutorials, just that it may help increase the number of people who find your site.
However, people also come online to buy stuff. If you already have name recognition, perhaps because you’ve been selling at galleries or arts and crafts fairs, you may simply need an online presence where people who already know you can come to buy directly from your website. Remember, though, that people find websites by typing in a keyword into the search engine text box. If people don’t already know your name, they are unlikely to find your gallery site at all unless you are diligent about building traffic around the type of art you sell.
I know from experience that you can spend days designing a website, especially if you’re an artist – and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Anyone with a natural creative urge can get totally lost in finding exactly the right colors, fiddling with the html, creating header graphics, etc., and spend so much time on design that they forget the original purpose of their site.
Fortunately, you can now avoid that time trap by using a pre-made template and a WordPress blog. There are hundreds of free templates for WordPress (they’re called “themes.”) You can also purchase a premium template if you want a blog that really stands out from the crowd. Even a free template can be customized easily by replacing the header graphic with a photo of your own artwork. All this means that you can have a blog up and running, and looking great, within an hour or two instead of a week or two. Most web hosts will automatically install the WordPress script, but for security purposes you do need to update the script on a regular basis.
If you determine in advance exactly what your blog will be used for, and use a pre-designed WordPress template, you will then be free to spend your online time building your posts and pages and communicating with your fans.